Zambia Meets UK For Children With Special Needs

Meet Chris Bentley, Cynthia Chisangano and Doug Staff, our Guests on the most recent edition of The Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient, featuring George da Soulchild Kaufela. The show is sponsored by Chanters Lodge and airs every Sunday between 20.30 and 21.30 hrs on Zambezi 107.7 fm, Livingstone’s leading local radio station – ‘Let The Waves Flow’ is their motto, and they certainly did last Sunday night!

Two of our Guests – Chris and Doug hail from UK and were visiting Zambia as part of a reciprocal partnership between Zambia and the UK, of schools, or departments in schools, catering for children with special needs. Cynthia is in charge of the department of children with special needs at David Livingstone High School in Livingstone, while Chris and Doug are teachers at Crowdy’s Hill School in Swindon, UK. That school has some 130 students with special and complex needs, some with mental health issues. The original contact was made by Cynthia who in 2010, perusing Facebook as we in Zambia often do, came across the page for the British Council and a feature about possible reciprocal arrangements between schools worldwide with departments of special needs. She was on to it in a flash and the link between David Livingstone High School and Crowdy’s Hill was established. Cynthia visited UK earlier this year and Doug and Chris told listeners they were much enjoying meeting the staff and children involved in Cynthia’s department at David Livingstone High School.
This music on the show was the usual rich mixture that Milli Jam, George and I create each week! Tracks were from Misha B, Angel, Paulina Rubio and Far East Movement ft Cover Drive. Others were from Danny and Slap Dee, with tracks from Sean Paul ft Kelly Rowland as well as Usher. Our oldie of the week, chosen by Milli Jam, was by Destiny’s Child. Worried about the poor response in recent weeks to our offer of a dinner for two at the lodge to the first person to text us the name of the artist featured in our oldie of the week, we came in half way through the track telling listeners to ‘come on and text’ and the response improved immediately and the prize was won. A lesson learned.
Doug told listeners that he was married with two sons, Chris is engaged to be married and Cynthia’s single. The group’s main aim at the moment is to ensure the sustainability of their project – to this end they are interested in David Livingstone High School becoming a British Council ‘Learning Hub’ attracting new sponsored finance and more importantly new computers and internet connectivity for the school and, out of hours, for the community. We wished them the best of luck in their endeavors.
Milli Jam wondered whether Doug and Chris would have time for any tourist activities during their visit to Livingstone and the guys explained that they would go white water rafting and later on the sunset cruise the following Tuesday. They were much looking forward to their day off – granted them by Cynthia who was their boss for the week! She would stay at the school and work! Asked where they would like to be and what they would like to be doing ten years from now, Chris said he hoped still to be teaching children with special needs, maintaining his links with Zambia, Doug wanted to be coaching canoeing and kayaking in Canada. Cynthia wanted to have her doctorate and to be a national advocate for children with special needs in Zambia.

We rounded off the show with greetings for Guests and staff at the lodge, news from the Chanters Lodge blog, our Twitter account as well as our weekly contributions on Facebook and Pinterest. Chart news from the US and UK latest pop charts is standard on the show too!